Summertime in Helsinki, Finland
Credit: © iStockphoto

Iceland is so last year. At least that’s what Finnair wants you to believe: the airline just launched a free stopover program similar to the IcelandAir one that helped catapult Reykjavík to the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Now, passengers flying through Helsinki can opt to spend up to five days in Finland at no additional cost—on either end of their journeys.

To help make the planning as straightforward as possible, the Nordic carrier has also partnered with a local tour operator, Finland Tours, to create layover itineraries at varying lengths. They include everything from a few hours to a few days, varying in focus from food to shopping and, of course, Northern Lights excursions in Lapland.

But there is one wrinkle. When we searched for flights from New York to Paris on Finnair in hopes of building in a three-day stopover, we noticed different results than when we searched for flights without the stopover. Flights with stopovers were only available on midweek departures, for instance, whereas a flight without a stopover could be booked for any day. The price, however, stayed constant. It just goes to show: all free things come at some cost, and in this case, it’s schedule flexibility.